Featured News

  • 25 Sep 2017 6:20 AM | Anonymous

    One of GFCA’s major initiatives over the past 3 years has been development of plans for a comprehensive trails system to connect the Great Falls community – allowing residents to transit and recreate on foot or by bike from their neighborhoods to other points of interest in Great Falls such as the Village, schools, and parks.

    Recent projects beginning to fill out the Georgetown Pike trail between the Village and Seneca Rd are a direct result of this effort.  But these are just the beginning stages of what will be many years of work to complete and require a consistent Vision pursued with persistence and diligence in funding and construction.

    Another important foundation has just been set:  on Sep 19 the GFCA Executive Board formally adopted a set of policies called:  “GFCA Guidelines for Trail Design and Construction in Great Falls”.  This is the result of 18 months of exploration into the reasons why Great Falls trail development has failed in the past both overall and at the trail project level.  In addition to work of our task force, we worked with other local organizations, most notably Trailblazers, as well as County staff, on the development and specific conclusions.

    The new Guidelines:

    1. Establish a clear Vision for the development of a comprehensive trails system in Great Falls
    2. Set principles to be followed in trails development, derived from lessons learned from past projects
    3. Protect our community’s unique historic and aesthetic character, as well as our environment
    4. Ensure that trails built in the future will be functional, durable, and support the needs of the community for decades.

    The Guidelines are available here.   Our trails team is already hard at work with the county and other authorities on their implementation.  The next phases of the Georgetown Pike Trail (Phases III and IV, mentioned in another article) have been designed consistent with these guidelines.

    If you have an interest in Trails and would like to be on an email distribution list for future updates, please send your name, home address, and email address to: trails@gfca.org
  • 18 Sep 2017 5:56 PM | Anonymous

    In continuing efforts to build an interconnected trail system in Great Falls allowing people to leave their neighborhoods on foot or bike, GFCA encourages citizens to attend a community meeting on the next phase to be constructed, called "Georgetown Pike Phase IV."  This meeting will be held on Oct 4, 7 p.m. at the Great Falls Library.

    The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is holding a community meeting concerning the Georgetown Pike Trail Phase IV project, which will complete a 1200' long section of trail between Falls Bridge Lane and Seneca Road. County Staff will discuss design elements of the trail and answer questions.

    Schematics of the intermediate design are available here:

    This is a follow-up to a meeting that was held on March 22, 2017 which focused on Phase III of the trail and the preliminary designs for Phase IV.

    More information about both Phase III and Phase IV is available online at:


    The public is invited to comment on the project online; by writing to FCDOT at 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033; or by calling 703-877-5600. Comments are due by Friday, October 27, 2017.

    Please feel free to share this information with your friends and neighbors.

  • 05 Aug 2017 12:10 PM | Anonymous

    The Fairfax County Police Department Media Relations Bureau reminds our residents of their use of CrimeReports.com, a website devoted to increasing community awareness of police-related events occurring in Great Falls and throughout Fairfax County. CrimeReports.com provides a convenient, web-based platform which allows the police to pursue their pledge of greater transparency and community engagement. 

    The Police say CrimeReports.com is easy to use. Interested residents can use it to view police activity, sign up for updates, and instantly send anonymous tips to the Fairfax County Crime Solvers network. The police believe that CrimeReports.com will provide the public with a positive online experience as well as enhance community awareness and understanding of police activity in our neighborhoods. 

    To see a map of recent crimes reported in and around Great Falls, go here

    Questions? Contact the Fairfax County Police Media Relations Bureau, at 703-246-2253, or by e-mail at: fcpdmedia@fairfaxcounty.gov

  • 01 Aug 2017 1:23 PM | Anonymous

    Fairfax County has called a special election to fill an open seat on the School Board August 29th. This seat was made vacant when an at-Large member moved out of the County.  All registered voters in Fairfax County are eligible to vote, and 4 candidates have filed papers to be on the ballot. 

    Three of them, Ms. Michael Owens, Mr. Chris Grisafe, and Karen Keys-Gamarra have committed to coming to a Candidate Night at 7:30 p.m., August 8th, at the Great Falls Library.  The other candidate, Sandra Allen, declined our invitation. 

    Special Elections, especially those set according to Virginia Law in the summer months, often have low turn-out. Being informed and voting in this special election provides those that do vote an out-sized impact. Over 50% of the Fairfax County operating budget is spent on schools; the School Board has complete control on how that money is put to use.

  • 29 Jul 2017 9:58 AM | Anonymous

    The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) agreed in July to drop the use of crumb rubber for the construction of a planned soccer field #7 at Nike Park (next to Forestville School).  Their decision followed the adoption of a June 28 resolution by the GFCA Executive Board stating that GFCA:

    • has been and continues to be opposed to the construction of playing fields utilizing tire crumb rubber, due to continued questions of safety posing risk to players, spectators, storm water, and well water;
    • calls for a countywide ban on use of crumb rubber on fields and transitioning away from fields built with hazardous materials;
    • asks for the County to establish a citizens task force to study the safety and characteristics (lifecycle cost, durability, warranty validity, and functionality) of alternative playing field surfaces including both artificial and natural grass materials; and
    • supports proceeding without further delay with the construction of Nike 7 – due to the needs of the soccer sports league – by selecting an alternative surface that does not include tire crumb rubber .

    In response to the GFCA position, Supervisor John Foust replied to GFCA within days, letting us know that he had requested that FCPA not use crumb rubber on Nike 7 and instead should select an “appropriate artificial or grass alternative as soon as possible.” 

    GFCA is disappointed that FCPA did not invite public discussion of this field last fall when it initially agreed to build an artificial field with the soccer association. A more thorough examination of alternatives for safe playing field construction, such as natural grass, is warranted and overdue. GFCA plans to press the County to establish an independent and objective process to evaluate playing field surfaces and work to ban crumb rubber on other Fairfax County and Northern Virginia fields, on which our children play when competing.

  • 20 Jun 2017 7:06 AM | Anonymous

    Did you know that the beginning of the Global Positioning System, now used throughout the world, was created in 1961-1963, in Great Falls?

    Members of the public are invited to a dedication ceremony for a new historical marker at Observatory Park at The Turner Farm on Saturday, June 24, 2017. Local and state officials, community members and former employees of the U.S. Army Map Service and Defense Mapping Agency will be in attendance. The event is sponsored by the Fairfax County Park Authority and the Analemma Society. Although the marker will be located on the west side of Springvale Road, south of Georgetown Pike, the ceremony will take place near the observatory.

    The marker honors the work of the U.S. Army Map Service and its contribution to the Global Positioning System, better known as GPS, that is now used worldwide for navigation. Observatory Park at The Turner Farm, also a former Nike missile site, served as a support facility for geo-location and navigation beginning in 1961, establishing precise geographical reference points on the Earth’s surface. In 1963, the U.S. Army Map Service initiated a significant satellite tracking program that became part of the Defense Mapping Agency in 1972.

    In the words on the marker, “The satellite tracking system contributed fundamentally to the Global Positioning System or GPS. Until 1993, the data gathered at this facility also enabled geospatial scientists to further refine both their estimates of the Earth’s true shape and variations in its gravity field.”

    A dedication will be held at 10 a.m. at the park, with remarks from historians and local and state officials.

    Turner Farm is located at 925 Springvale Road, Great Falls, VA. For more information about the ceremony, please contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662 or via Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.  

    Further information is available here

  • 31 May 2017 1:56 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) will host a public meeting to share information about Turner Farm Park and listen to suggestions from the community as part of the process to update the farm's Master Plan. The meeting will be held on:

    Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
    Great Falls Grange
    9818 Georgetown Pike

    A project webpage (http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/plandev/turnerfarm.htm) has been created where you can find out more information about the park and the planning process as well as provide comments and request project updates. The webpage will be updated throughout the master planning process.

    FCPA welcomes your thoughts and questions on the Turner Farm Park Master Plan. The authority can reached via e-mail at parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.

  • 17 May 2017 4:15 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)
    The annual Memorial Day ceremony will be held on Monday, May 29, 11:00 AM, at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial to honor those who gave “the last full measure of devotion” in service of freedom, including at least 25 citizens of Great Falls. The keynote speaker will be longtime Great Falls resident Robert D. Vickers, Jr., former CIA National Intelligence Officer and Vietnam Veteran. The event will also include patriotic songs, a raising of the flags by Boy Scout Troop 55, a wreath laying, and a reading of the honor roll and bell-ringing for each of the 25 known Great Falls natives who have fallen in defense of our country.

    The Freedom Memorial is located behind the Great Falls Library at 9830 Georgetown Pike. The ceremony is open to all. Ample parking is available in the library parking lot. In case of rain, the ceremony will move to the library meeting room. Limited seating will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to bring portable chairs.
  • 06 May 2017 6:29 AM | Anonymous

    Bob Vickers, Chairman of the Fairfax County Tree Commission, will lead a tree walk—in conjunction with the Great Falls Citizens Association—on Saturday, May 20 at 10 am at Riverbend Park on Jeffery Road in Great Falls.  Residents, including children, interested in learning more about prominent  tree species that line the Potomac River should meet at the park Visitors Center and plan on a walk lasting approximately 1.5 hours.  Nesting bald eagles may be visible during the walk. Wear appropriate clothing for the weather and sturdy shoes; the walk will be rescheduled if rain is in the forecast.

  • 04 May 2017 10:03 AM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    Fairfax County Park Authority Press Release:

    The Resident Curator Evaluation Team for applications to Turner Farm will hold a public information meeting on May 17, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Great Falls Grange located at 9818 Georgetown Pike in Great Falls, VA. The meeting provides an opportunity for applicants to present their proposal to the evaluation team in a public forum. This will be the evaluation team's opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback to the applicants, and to receive public comment on each proposal.

    Additional meetings of the evaluation team will be held on Mondays,  May 8, May 22 and July 10 at 9 a.m. in the Herrity Building at 12055 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA. These meetings will take place in the ninth floor Park Authority Board Room. While these Monday meetings are open to the public, there will be no opportunity for public comment. Members of the public are asked to submit comments in writing to the  project manager via Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov by Friday, June 2, 2017.

    To find out more about the Resident Curator Program and additional Resident Curator properties, please visit Resident Curator Program, http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/rcp/. For more information contact the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662.

The opinions expressed on these pages are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of the Great Falls Citizens Association

Great Falls Citizens Association
PO Box 27  •  Great Falls, VA  •  22066 

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